Monday, November 20, 2017

25 Muslim Uighur Inmates Escape From Thai Jail


25 inmates of Muslim descent escaped from Thai Prison. The 20 (5 were later caught) inmates were among a group of 200 Uighur that escaped from Xinjiang, China. All inmates left their home alleging China of oppressing them, in which China denies. However, China labels the Uighur people as illegal immigrants. China believes that terrorism runs rampant in the Uighur race. Over the years, many have tried to escape and join terrorist organizations in Turkey and Afghanistan. The escaped inmates escaped through digging through the walls with tiles, using the heavy rain to hide the noise. All escapees held no passport or identification papers. Both Turkey and China claim the escapees as citizens of their respective country.

I believe that the Thai authority should be the ones to blame for this. Since the 200 inmates were detained since 2014, it has been 3 years and still the Thai government has not yet made a decision on deporting them back to China, where they may or may not be executed or jailed, or granting them asylum and allowing them to become Thai citizens. However, if they are indeed oppressed by the ethnic Han/Chinese, their pleas for asylum should be granted. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Border Patrol Agent Killed In Texas In What A Senator Calls An Attack

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Two border patrol agents were reportedly attacked on Saturday, November 18th, while on patrol in Southwest Texas. While reporting to activity near the US-Mexico border, the partner of the agent who was killed said that they were both injured. However, they did not specify what happened or who was responsible. Officials will not release any details of this event. The agents were patrolling near interstate 10. Senator of Texas, Ted Cruz, believes that this was an attack. The FBI believe that they will release more information on Monday regarding this case. After the incident, Border Patrol searched for any possible witnesses or suspects. On Sunday morning, Rogelio Martinez passed away in the hospital due to his injuries. President Trump tweeted, "We will seek out and bring justice to those responsible. We will, and must build The Wall." Do you think that Donald Trump has good reasons on building The Wall? 

In my opinion, I strongly DISAGREE with the claim that the United States should build a wall along the US-Mexico border. Our country consists of many different people including a lot of immigrants. America is called the "Land Of Opportunity" because we want to give others a chance if they don't have that in their country. However, this wall will take away people's ability to enter the US and take away their opportunities. Many people come to the US for education and work but this wall will take away these chances. Yes, two border patrol agents were assaulted but we still have no details on what actually happened. I do not believe this because their are so many more issues we need to worry about. Issues such as hurricane relief, Puerto Rico, solving issues with North Korea, and many more. Do you believe in Trump's claims about building a wall? Do you think that building a wall will help America? Do you think that it is right to take away people's ability to come into America from Mexico?

Trump's elephant trophy reversal comes as a surprise to administration employees, interest groups

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On Friday night, Trump announced the reversal of his decision to lift the ban on the importation of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. He put the decision on hold amidst severe backlash and claimed he wants to review conservation facts. Today, he tweeted that his decision would be announced next week and he hinted that the ban would stay in place, as he called the poaching of elephants a "horror show." I find it interesting that he initially called for the ban to be lifted, but only days later he is referring to the poaching of elephants with such negatively charged language. In my opinion, this indicates that he is pressured into certain decisions, especially since he announced the ban would be lifted before he did any research. Do you think his initial lifting of the ban has anything to do with the fact that his sons are big-game trophy hunters?

I don't think the ban should be lifted because elephants are listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. While regulated hunting can help conservation efforts, allowing the issuing of permits to import trophies into the United States will encourage the hunting of these animals and could potentially change their status from "threatened" to "endangered." Should the ban on the importation of elephant trophies be lifted? 

Zimbabwe's Mugabe Ousted By Own Party, Refuses To Step Down

ZANU-PF, Zimbabwe's governing party recently voted to bring an end President Robert Mugabe's 37 years of tyrannical rule. However, in an address on state television, rather than resigning, Mugabe stated that he will oversee a congress meeting in a few weeks, clearly demonstrating his desire to cling to his power and position.  This is in stark contrast to the peaceful transfer of power that George Washington ensured and has continued to be a cornerstone of US democracy. Worse yet, in my opinion the appointment of former vice president,  Emmerson Mnangagwa, to succeed Mugabe does not seem like much of a better path for Zimbabwe.  Mnangagwa, according to NPR's Ofeibea Quist Arcton's is "cut from the same cloth, the cloth that has seen Zimbabwe's economy tumble...So people shouldn't think of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who may come back and head an interim government, as being a savior for Zimbabwe - certainly not." I believe, considering how long Mugabe was able to stay in power, Mnangagwa could hold a tyrannical rule for a long time as well.

Why do you think Mugabe is refusing to step down? Do you think having Mnangagwa in power is going to positively benefit Zimbabwe's government? 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

An activist, a little girl and the heartbreaking origin of 'Me too'

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Actress Alyssa Milano originally tweeted "#metoo" during mid October, but according to this CNN report, it started long ago with the story of Tarana Burke. What do you think the significance of Milano sourcing Tarana Burke is? This movement is being done by women, and some men, all across the world talking about how they have been sexually harassed and or abused. Why is this movement so impactful to people today, and how do you think that this will affect our views on gender equality in the long term?

I thought it was really interesting to learn someone's personal story on why they decided to join the #metoo movement instead of only focusing on how they apply to the hashtag. Understanding why it started is an important puzzle-piece that I believe will help guide the world to understand what is going on and help to create a discussion about what we can do to make this problem less common.

How can someone at our status (student, teenager, etc) help to make a difference in society?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sheriff Suspended After Deputies Allegedly ‘Groped’ Students in Massive Drug Search

A Georgia sheriff by the name of Jeff Hobby (pictured above) groped students during a school drug search at Worth County High School in April, yet he suspended on November 6th by Governor Nathan Deal. On April 14, they had placed the high school on lockdown for 4 hours and forced students to stand with their legs and arms spread outward from their bodies, known as "eagle spread." The deputies groped students' breasts and genitals, as well as exposed some of their body parts. Hobby said that their searches were "legal" if a school administrator was present. Do you think Hobby had to right to search the students under the circumstances? In my opinion, Jeff Hobby did not have to right to search the students despite his social standing as a sheriff. He should be further punished than just having his job as a sheriff being taken away from him, there was no consent given to him by the underage students for the deputies to touching them in such a way. If not, do you think Hobby should receive a harsher punishment than just suspension from being a sheriff? Do you think that his social position had something to do with the punishment he received?

He has never tried a case, but Trump wants to make him judge for life

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President Trump nominated Brett Talley (pictured above) to be a federal judge for life in Alabama. Talley, who is 36 and has only practiced three years of law, hasn’t tried a case. This lack of experience puts into question whether or not he should be a judge. The president does make a good point in that the age of the judge is important in the long run, but I don’t think he should make that the reason to elect such young nominees, such as Talley. Experience is more important than age when giving such an important role to someone. Talley does claim to have “worked in all three branches of the federal government, ” and believes he is qualified to take on the task of being a judge. I, however, believe that he is not qualified to be a federal judge. I make this claim, not based off of my political views, but based off the actions of the president and the statements Talley makes (as stated previously). This position will allow him to judge cases for the next few decades, depending on how long he would serve. Talley needs more time in court to understand the title that the president wants him to take on. I’m not saying he isn’t qualified at all, I just don’t think he should be a judge with the experience he has now. But what do you think? Do you think Talley is qualified to be a federal judge? If so, why?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Men at Work Wonder if They Overstepped With Women, Too

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In the recent few weeks there has been a nationwide epidemic regarding workplace harassment among america’s working men. With the increasing amounts of sexual harassment experience cases many men who believe that they treat women as equals in the workplace are starting to rethink their own behavior and if they "have overstepped at work". Many offices have implemented safety precautions on the topic of sexual harassment, however, it was ineffective and workplace harassment is still widely underreported. I think because of these recent cases like Harvey Weinstein, Mark Halperin and Louis C.K. many women are starting to distrust men in general and men are also doubting their own past actions. I don't think it is fair for the men that believe women also should have equal rights, to also be grouped together by women as those who would sexually harass. Context seems to play a huge role in the topic of sexual harassment but i still believe there is no clear line between friendliness and sexual harassment, but how could we solve this problem? How would you define sexual harassment? Is there a unified definition? Do you think there should be a clear line? How so?

‘White Europe’: 60,000 nationalists march on Poland’s independence day

Polish nationalists light flares

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Protests on Poland’s Independence day were met with nationalist protesters, about 60,000 of them, calling for a “Pure Poland.” These demonstrators were also met “2,000 counter-demonstrators also took to the streets of central Warsaw to voice their outrage.” These protests seem eerily similar to the recent white nationalist protests in Charlottesville that turned violent. They also seem similar to racial segregation in where people were calling for these divisions in society based on race, a feeling of wanting to be separate. The thing that concerns me if that if these demonstrations are gaining more and more popularity, what will the future look like? I’m concerned that violence will continue to escalate. But at the same time, could this open up the conversation to listen to different opinions and viewpoints? This may have been a deep-rooted issue that now is being brought to the surface and needs to be addressed.

Why do you think protests, such as these, have gained more attention and support in recent years? Do you think protests are an effective ways for people to show their feelings? How should we respond to sentiments like these? What do you think needs to happen in order for the violence to lessen?

Where Self-Driving Cars Go to Learn

The primary reason why so many self-driving car companies have started operating out of Arizona is because of the lack of autonomous car regulations there. Although the abundance of tech companies relocating to Arizona has brought undeniable wealth to certain regions in Arizona, the effects are not all great. Governor Doug Ducey's lack of heed for safety and focus on the enticements of Silicon Valley have existed for the entire life of the Arizona autonomous vehicle boom. What began as his lack of action on clearly illegal Uber and Lyft practices around Superbowl 50 has been carefully worked into securing business deals that pay no attention to passenger privacy, cyber-attack prevention, and insurance for driverless cars. This brings us to see problems that have almost always existed in the industry to some extent. Where should the balance lean in the issue of ethics vs. developing successful technology? What type of regulations should be mandated to ensure public safety? Who should be held accountable for accidents between human drivers and driverless cars?     

Where Self-Driving Cars Go to Learn

Sunday, November 5, 2017

26 dead in shooting at church in Sutherland Springs, Texas

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Devin Kelley, a 26 year old man, was identified as the mass shooter responsible for taking the lives of 26 people, and wounding 20 more at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. He had a history of domestic violence against his wife and child, and was court martialed in 2012. He was resultantly discharged and demoted for bad conduct from the Air Force. Kelley was spotted around 11:20 am in tactical gear, and shortly opened fire with an assault-type rifle upon the Texas church and was later found dead in his car. His violent actions with an assault rifle took the lives of several innocent people who were peacefully praying in their place of worship, a place meant to be safe. Kelley's actions of mass violence beg the question: Are guns are too accessible in America? This horrific event calls for action. What steps do you think would be most effective in decreasing instances of gun violence? To what extent do you think think that gun regulation will prevent cases of violence? Also, do you believe that atheism and different religions create a significant divide in America, and if so what can be done to increase tolerance and awareness?

Talking about race in an era of Confederate statues, Black Lives Matter

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In an America that is becoming increasingly divided, it is encouraging to see communities coming together and discussing racial issues that are difficult to talk about. I think that discussing racial issues civilly will decrease the use of violence in America because as people begin to understand each other, they will be more inclined to make changes through the political system that lead to racial equality. This can be compared to the reconstruction era after the civil war when black people first began to have an influence in politics and freed slaves started to have more of a voice in social discussions. In Virginia, protests over confederate statues have inspired these conversations, but I think that it is important to discuss racial issues in all regions of the United States. What do you think of these polls? How do you think we can start and continue discussions about race in our community, and communities across the country?